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Sutter dominates in playoff opener
Huskies open up 49-0 halftime lead in win over Yreka
Sutter High's football team officially began its quest for the Northern Section Division II title on Friday night, but like so many other games this season, the storyline remained the same — utter and complete domination by the Huskies.
Suffocating performance by their staunch defensive unit — check.
Cavernous holes pried open by their offensive line — check.
Special teams — check.
Nearly everything Sutter did on this night went right, and as a result, the Huskies have locked up a date with Orland in the semifinals.
Mat Sanders and Alex Ingram scored two touchdowns apiece, Nathan Ahlers rumbled his way for 141 yards and a score and the top-seeded Huskies made quick work of No. 8 Yreka with an easy 49-7 victory at Wayne Gadberry Field.
Sutter (11-0) put the game away early by jumping out to a 49-0 lead at halftime and the Miners' lone touchdown came on their final offensive play when the Huskies emptied their bench and played a handful of sophomore callups.
The Huskies also scored two touchdowns on special teams and recorded nine sacks on defense in what proved to be one of their most complete games of the season.
"They're ready. It's go-time and they know it," Sutter coach Ryan Reynolds said. "We're clicking on all cylinders and peaking at the right time."
Sanders opened the scoring with a 5-yard TD run early in the first quarter before defensive tackle Trevor Carr came through with the play of the game when he blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone to put Sutter up 14-0.
It was the second blocked punt in as many games for Carr, who has blocked four over the last two seasons.
"They put me in for those punts because I'm quick off the ball. I did the same thing against River Valley last year," Carr said. "We came into this as a family and we did it as a group. Both sides of the ball were on it tonight."
Were they ever.
Ahlers broke loose for a 50-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 Sutter at the end of the first quarter, and Ingram added a 36-yard scoring jaunt early in the second to make it 28-0.
Sutter scored its second special teams touchdown on a beautiful 70-yard punt return by Colton Minton, and Ingram found paydirt on a 9-yard run to make it a 42-0 ballgame.
The Huskies put the finishing touches on their first-half dominance when Trent Little hit Sanders for a 33-yard TD pass with 34 seconds remaining before the break.
As for Sutter's defense? They were their dominant selves.
Carr led the charge with three sacks, Garrett Wallace had two, and Jake Koranda, Philip Robledo, Danny Bogert and Cody Frasier each had one in the win. Trenton McDaniel also added an interception for the Huskies.
Ingram finished with 83 yards rushing and Sanders added 53 on the ground in limited action for Sutter, which rolled up 312 yards of offense in the first half before sitting its starters the rest of the way.
"I've got to give a shout-out to my offensive line. I couldn't have scored the touchdowns without them," Sanders said. "We're just taking it one game at a time. We can't get to the section championship unless we win the next one."
That next one will be played against defending section champion and No. 4-seeded Orland, which dispatched Wheatland 33-0 on Friday night.
The Trojans (9-2) beat Sutter twice last year en route to the section title and Sutter's tightest game of the season came against Orland on Sept. 28 when the Huskies came away with a 20-3 victory.
"It's going to be an epic battle," Reynolds said. "They play good, physical defense and our guys know that now."